Local swimmer Ryan Kuester is congratulated by Mayor Sharon Gaetz for his two gold medals that he won for backstroke and freestyle at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens. Kuester was acknowledged for his achievements and given a gift during Tuesday afternoon's council meeting at City Hall.

Swimmer gets second set of council kudos

Swimmer Ryan Kuester jingle-jangled as he walked down the aisle at city hall last week to be recognized by city council — for the second time in less than two years.

Swimmer Ryan Kuester jingle-jangled as he walked down the aisle at city hall last week to be recognized by city council — for the second time in less than two years.

The sound everyone heard was his two gold medals clanking together, earned with stellar performances in Athens at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games.

“It’s not that often that we get to have an Olympian in chambers who has competed in Greece,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz to welcome Kuester.

Last time the 22-year-old swimmer was in council chambers, members of council warmly wished him luck as he headed off to compete at the Special Olympics.

He had just returned to Chilliwack from the nationals with three gold medals.

“We were hoping you would come home with something this time, but two gold medals was just incredible,” Gaetz said last Tuesday.

The mayor remembered hearing the news from Greece that Kuester had taken gold, and her first thought was: “He’s from Chilliwack!”

Intensive preparations for the national and the world competitions meant five days a week training in the pool, and lots of running, explained Kuester.

He landed in Greece with butterflies in his stomach, and it was blazingly hot.

During the final swim meet, he was “shaking like a leaf” as he got into the pool for the race, he said.

His amazing race times earned him gold medals in both the freestyle and backstroke categories.

“I remember thinking, ‘This shouldn’t be happening. I shouldn’t get two golds.'”

Gaetz called the results “fantastic” and praised the strong support offered to the local athlete by his coach, Jacques Lemieux, and family members, while presenting him with a certificate of appreciation and a water bottle.

Kuester told council he was cognizant of the fact that he was representing B.C. and Chilliwack, as well as Canada, while competing at the Worlds.

“And I did it to the best of my ability.”

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

twitter.com/CHWKjourno

Just Posted

WATCH: Group of 150 gather for Fraser Valley Marches for Women in Chilliwack

Waving signs, women make their way down Young Road as part of second annual march in Chilliwack

Chilliwack prolific offender wanted yet again

B.C.-wide warrant issued for David Allen Geoghegan

One man, two women charged with stolen pickup downtown Chilliwack

None of the three have criminal history in B.C.

COLUMN: Should elected officials block constituents and reporters on social media?

Ottawa mayor was sued for doing that but a Chilliwack school trustee didn’t get that message

Chilliwack-Hope MP says new summer jobs grant application no longer includes ‘values test’

Those with anti-abortion beliefs left out last year because of requirement to respect the Charter

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read